Growing up a music fan in the age of YouTube meant nothing was outside of my sight. Any interview, live set, or quirky video I wanted to see was just a search away at all times. One such video I found was John Mayer talking about his album with John Mayer Trio called “Try!” In that video, he said (to paraphrase) that a real musical hero is something who, when you picture them, you can’t imagine them apart from their instrument. This quote always spoke to me.
Which is probably why the news of Lady Gaga using vomit in her act struck me as particularly sad. Now, I’m not upset that she’s finding success. She is selling what people want to buy, and even I, someone who doesn’t like the act, feel compelled to talk about it.
1. It’s Not About The Music
As this story circulates the internet and becomes water cooler conversation, no one is bothering to talk at all about the music that was being played during her show. Obviously, when something as grotesque as this happens, it doesn’t particularly matter what song was being played as it happened. That’s precisely the problem. Lady Gaga has found a way to be a musician and not be known for the music. This should make us all stop and wonder. How much does the music mean? As a fan, I’d like to think it should matter more than anything else. But maybe I’m just naive.
2. It’s Not About The Stage Show
This is even more surprising to me than the first point. As this gets discussed, it seems that no one really knows what it did for the show. Presumably, as an artist, something like this would be done for some sort of affect in the show. However, this single act has been lifted out of the context of the show and is an event unto itself. It has nothing to do with stage performance; it has everything to do with shock value.
3. It’s Not Even About Her
The name “Lady Gaga” could be substituted for any other name. This story has nothing to do with the fact that she did this and everything to do with the fact that it was done. If anyone else had done this, the notoriety would still come. It is sad for me, as a music fan, to see that the music, the live show, and the musician can be so meaningless to a music story.
Maybe I’m trying to be too idealistic, but when music stories have nothing to do with music, I see that as a dark day for the music industry.